Autumn Story In Japan 2013 – Another UNESCO World Heritage – Nijojo (Nijo Castle)

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After visiting Kinkakuji, we take Bus No. 50 from Kinkakuji-michi Bus Stop (the bus stop that we alighted just now for Kinkakuji) to go to Nijo Castle. We have to alight at Nijojo-mae bus stop, press the bell to inform driver to stop when Nijojo-mae bus stop is approaching.

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The entrance to Nijo Castle is just opposite the bus stop. Entrance tickets are purchased at 600 Yen each. 😀

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This is the Karamon Gate. Nijo Castle was built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867). His grandson Iemitsu completed the castle’s palace buildings 23 years later and further expanded the castle by adding a five story castle keep.

After the Tokugawa Shogunate fell in 1867, Nijo Castle was used as an imperial palace for a while before being donated to the city and opened up to the public as a historical site. The castle was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994. (Information gathered from Japan Guide)

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We walk through the Karamon Gate to reach Ninomaru Palace which is the castle’s main attraction. Indeed, I am very impressed by the detailed designs with the gold platings on the roof, I thought it is beautiful!

The Ninomaru Palace served as the residence and office of the shogun during his visits to Kyoto. Surviving in its orignal form, the palace consists of multiple separate buildings that are connected with each other by corridors with so called nightingale floors, as they squeak when stepped upon as a security measure against intruders. The palace rooms are tatami mat covered and feature elegantly decorated ceilings and beautifully painted sliding doors (fusuma).

We did go into the palace for a tour and it is really as described above. As no photography is allowed, there will be no photos. 😀

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Outside of the Ninomaru Palace extends the Ninomaru Garden, a traditional Japanese landscape garden with a large pond, ornamental stones and manicured pine trees.

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Walking through the beautiful garden is an enjoyment under the scorching sun but cooling air. The reason why I love Autumn so much!

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Even though it is still not peak of autumn in Kyoto, we already spot some leafs turning red or orange! It may not be as pretty a sight as compared to full autumn, but with a little of reds among the greens is also very nice! 🙂

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More photos of the garden! It is quite big as we did spent some time to stroll around. ^^

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There is some sort of flea market near the exit of the garden. How lucky are we! The stalls sell food, snacks and some souvenirs.

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We buy some food and settle down at the red bench to rest, eat and enjoy the sun. Ya. I seldom enjoy the sun in Singapore cos it is most of the time freaking hot that I thought my skin is gonna burn, and I sweat in less than 5 minutes. But during the autumn season in Japan, the sun is warm on the skin and the wind is cooling, and I don’t sweat. 😛

I really miss the grilled mochi with sweet sauce that I had in Ise last November that I am exhilarated to see this. Of cos I have to buy it. But sadly, after tasting it, it is different. Not grill to a crispy outing, and not as yummy. I mistook these for the ones I had in last November. Oh well.

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Okonomiyaki! I love this! I really love this! The vegetables below the egg are so sweet and the sweet sauce + mayonnaise with the eggs and green onions are just yums! After this, we will go to Nishiki Market. 🙂

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